Monday, 18 May 2015

A cold May morning at Kiplingcotes nature reserve

An early Sundaymorning trip to Kiplingotes with Robert and James mainly in search of invertebrates. As we arrived three hares fed in the field opposite the car park. Willow Warblers and Yellowhammers were singing and Linnets passed overhead several times.
There were a few sunny spells, but the wind was relentless and chilly, so not as many insects on the wing as we would expect for this time of year. We kept to the sheltered bottom of the reserve, where we inspected the scree and chalk stones, logs and nettle beds (one of my knees is still throbbing!). Two butterfly species were on the wing, a couple of Wall Browns and a Dingy Skipper (above), which was a first for me. Another nice first was the Ant Woodlouse, which we uncovered under a rotting log, and then found more under rocks near yellow ant nests. A photo selection follows.
Wall Brown
Deroceras reticulatum
Black and red leafhopper, Cercopis vulnerata
Candidula intersecta snail on a walkabout
Cinnabar moth
Millipede Polydesmus sp.
Silpha tristis, a snail eating beetle.
A black clock, Pterostichus madidus
A comparison of Pill Millipedes (two at the top) and Pill Woodlouse (bottom). Pill woodlouse seem to be quicker to unroll than the pill millipedes.
An ant woodlouse, my first! We saw many under a log.
An unrolled pill millipede.
A tiny Cecilioides acicula, shell
Arion intermedius, the Hedgehog slug.
View of the reserve
A flock of Linnets on the chalk.
And to finish, one of the hares, happily munching grass away.

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